Articles about voting issues in Ohio.

Ohio: Should Election Systems be a Top Priority in U.S. Cybersecurity Right Now? | Columbus Dispatch

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted disapproves of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s decision to designate voting machines and other aspects of the election process as in need of urgent cybersecurity assistance. “This was an altogether unnecessary move,” Husted said in an emailed statement. The Republican said the move constitutes “an unprecedented federal overstep” in the state’s right to administer elections. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Friday that election software and hardware would be designated as “critical infrastructure,” which gives state elections officials the opportunity to request cybersecurity services including assistance in response to cyberattacks. Designated election infrastructure includes storage facilities, polling places, voter registration databases, voting machines, and any systems used to manage, report and display election processes and results. Husted, who publicly opposed the move when it was broached in September, said, “I will continue to work with the new administration and leaders in Congress to ensure this does not represent an intrusion by the federal government into state election systems — systems that have served us well for over 200 years.” Read More

Ohio: Justices turn down appeal from Libertarians tossed from 2014 Ohio ballot | The Columbus Dispatch

Rejecting an appeal from the Ohio Libertarian Party, the U.S. Supreme Court appears to have put an end to a three-year legal battle over whether elected officials in the state conspired to keep two Libertarian candidates off the 2014 statewide ballot. Without comment Monday, the justices upheld a decision last year by both a federal appeals court in Cincinnati and a federal judge in Columbus that Gov. John Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted did not violate the U.S. Constitution when they  removed Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl and attorney-general candidate Steven Linnabary from the ballot. Joshua Eck, a Husted spokesman, said “once again, the court has clearly stated that the secretary is properly enforcing Ohio law. There is a clear path for establishing a political party in this state, which has been endorsed by the courts multiple times and even successfully utilized by other political groups.” Read More

Ohio: Kasich wants congressional redistricting reform in state budget | The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to redesign how Ohio draws its congressional boundaries through an unusual vehicle: the new state budget to be rolled out late this month. While voters in 2015 overwhelmingly approved a ballot issue enacting a new method to draw state legislative districts to reduce gerrymandering and increase political competitiveness, the recrafting of U.S. House districts has languished. The second-term Republican said he will ask majority GOP lawmakers to “do the same thing as done with legislative districts” in adjusting a House-redistricting scheme that has helped Republicans achieve a 12-4 majority with Democrats restricted to four “can’t-lose” districts. “They were going to drop it out as not germane (to the state budget),” Kasich said this afternoon in an apparent reference to legislative leaders. “If they want to drop it out as not germane, let them do it.” Read More

Ohio: Online voter registration to start in January | Journal-News

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has a New Year’s resolution he wants to see Ohioans make: register online to vote. And that can goal can be completed as soon as the Times Square Ball completes its New Year’s Eve descent. “It’s another positive step in trying to improve elections in America,” said Husted. “So when it strikes midnight, raise your glass in champagne, give a toast and register to vote.” Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 63 this past summer, which authorizes the state to implement online voter registration, and it will be live at midnight on Jan. 1 on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. “It eliminates another excuse for not voting,” he said. “Nobody can say it’s too hard. You don’t have to leave home to participate in Ohio democracy now.” Read More

Ohio: Online voter registration coming to Ohio | Dayton Daily News

Ohioans can register to vote online starting Jan. 1, an effort that could save the state millions of dollars, according to Secretary of State Jon Husted. Currently 31 states and Washington, D.C., allow voters to register online. “Raise a glass of champagne, offer a toast, get online and register to vote,” Husted said in a statement Tuesday. Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 63, allowing online registration, back in June, but it is just now taking effect in time for the upcoming local elections in 2017. The decision was made not to have the law take effect before the 2016 presidential election. “The world is moving online,” state Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, said on Tuesday. “More and more people look to do as much of their business online as they can because it’s convenient.” Read More

Ohio: Stark County residents sue to keep state Rep. Christina Hagan out of Electoral College | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Two Stark County residents have filed a complaint against Republican state Rep. Christina Hagan, looking to keep her from voting for president as a member of the Electoral College. The complaint, filed in Stark County Court of Common Pleas by Andrew Diliddo Jr. and Hagan’s former Democratic opponent, Deborah Cain, says if Hagan were to participate as a presidential elector she would violate the Ohio Constitution. The state constitution prohibits a General Assembly member from serving as a federal or other state official unless that person resigns from their assembly seat, the complaint says. Hagan has not resigned, the complaint says. Cain ran against Hagan, who represents Ohio’s 50th statehouse district, in the 2014 election. Read More

Ohio: Hackers hit Henry County voter database | The Courier

Attempts by computer hackers to hold Henry County’s voter database for ransom had county and state officials scrambling just days before the Nov. 8 general election. Voters were advised about the data breach in a letter sent by the Henry County commissioners earlier this month. Commissioner Glenn Miller said the voter database was restored from backups at the county and state level, and no ransom was paid. He said officials have no reason to believe the security breach compromised election results, or that voter registration information was extracted from the system. The ransomware attack occurred on Oct. 31. Ransomware is a malicious software used to deny access to the owner’s data in an effort to extort money. Miller said hackers that use ransomware are typically after money, not stealing data. Read More

Ohio: Secretary of State to appeal voter purging case to U.S. Supreme Court | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will appeal a ruling that the state was improperly purging voters from its rolls, arguing that the process is important for election integrity. “The current status of this case leaves one of our most important election safeguards in limbo,” Husted said in a statement. “I will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse this unnecessary intrusion into our state’s elections process.”  A. Philip Randolph Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union Ohio and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless sued Ohio, arguing that the state’s system for culling voter registration lists violated federal elections laws because it punished voters for inactivity.   Elections boards weed out ineligible voters — those who have died or been found incompetent or convicted of felonies or who have moved from the voting jurisdiction. But Ohio’s process for years has also been triggered by lack of voting.   Read More

Ohio: Redistricting reform could reduce blowouts in Ohio elections | The Columbus Dispatch

Nearly every legislative and congressional election in Ohio this month had one thing in common: They were blowouts. It didn’t matter whether the winner was a Democrat or Republican, the story was the same. “I was certainly surprised by the margins,” said Rep. Scott Ryan, R-Newark, vice chairman of the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee. “In many districts where the typical mix would be more 50-50, the races still weren’t close. That was very surprising to me.” But Secretary of State Jon Husted couldn’t muster any surprise. The partisan gerrymandering process that allowed Republicans to draw legislative and congressional seats in their favor continues to provide most general-election voters with no real option at the ballot, he said. Read More

Ohio: Court Won’t Reconsider Ohio Online Ballot Tool Ruling | Bloomberg BNA

A federal district court Nov. 14 declined to reconsider a decision that implementing an online ballot-marking tool in Ohio is an unreasonable request under federal law ( Hindel v. Husted , S.D. Ohio, No. 2:15-cv-3061, 11/14/16 ). The National Federation of the Blind and three blind, registered voters alleged that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide an alternative to paper absentee ballots. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled in May that the technology would fundamentally alter the state’s voting system because it hadn’t been used in a prior Ohio election nor certified in accordance with state law. Read More